Misleading Headline Disclaimer: this is really more of an “If We Were Having Coffee…” kind of entry, but I’m finicky about my entry titles, and sometimes I can’t let go of a useless, self-deprecating joke that’s been bouncing around my head for days.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: the great Carrie Fisher died unexpectedly some thirty or forty years too soon, and MCC remembered that time we met her. As if 2016 weren’t already a frontrunner for Worst Year of the Millennium before these last-minute additions, the next day brought the equally shocking news that her mother Debbie Reynolds had also died. We can’t and won’t imagine how their family is faring and can only add our prayers for the caring and guidance of others around them through this unfathomable time.
Meanwhile here in less important spheres, the week has been sad and unusual and frustrating on a lower level. If we were having coffee, I’d be apologizing for keeping a minimum safe distance because I’ve been waging war on a nasty cold that’s been digging at me since Christmas Eve and finally took me down Wednesday, turning me into a hacking, sniffling, irritating noisemaker that my coworkers kept trying to shoo out the door. I’m now typing this at the end of a much-needed sick day and…well, at least I’m alive and typing, and I was on TV Monday night, so this is me trying to tone down my complaints.
I added a last-minute link in the previous entry after it was posted, but ICYMI: a reporter from our local ABC affiliate WRTV saw our March 2015 write-up of our Carrie Fisher experience at Indiana Comic Con and asked me for a quick interview as part of an “Indiana Fans Remember Carrie Fisher” piece. I assumed I’d be one of several fans sharing their memories as a talking-head montage. A similar thing happened to Anne back in 1999 (and, apropos of everything, was also Star Wars-related), so I figured it was just my turn or whatever. I quickly reread my own entry and went in otherwise unprepared, still wearing my unofficial Santa beard and post-holiday-weekend no-care hair.
I didn’t expect to be the focus of the piece, which ran as the lead story on their 11 p.m. evening news, ahead of the Indianapolis Homicide of the Day and “Trump Learning How to Use Emojis Just to Ensure Twitter Never Ever Stops Retweeting Him” or whatever new development I ignored about him. The station even took the time to craft a separate, pretty clever Facebook teaser using another slice of the interview that wasn’t in the main segment. I’m not sure what was weirder: being on TV news or being called “an Indiana man” for the first time in my life. In my short stint as Indiana Man, I didn’t build up enough stamina to take on the notorious Florida Man, but who knows what kind of training the future might bring.
Meanwhile, one of WRTV’s competitors across the way, The CW affiliate WISH-TV, ran their own “Local Fans Remember Carrie Fisher” piece and scored interviews with two local authorities well above my station — a local comic shop owner (his place is far from our house, but we make the trek up there at least once a year) and writer/professor Christy Blanch, who we’ve seen at two or three conventions (including C2E2 2015 and Indiana Comic Con 2016). Theirs was fine, but mine had way more glitter and therefore wins.
The response from friends and family was flattering and a little overwhelming. Coworkers found out about it and had a few questions with wonder in their eyes. Longtime online friends, always the best people ever, continued being like that. For the first two days, I didn’t see ripples emanating much beyond my immediate circles. It’s just as well, because then that meddling cold got a deeper foothold, laid me low and kept me humble.
And then while I was recuperating and working through various aches and pains, this afternoon somebody(ies?) on Facebook linked directly to the MCC entry instead of to WRTV’s page and blew up my stats. No idea who. I wouldn’t call the net effect “viral” by any definition, but for a low-key site like mine, referrals from anyplace besides search engines are depressingly rare and really noticeable. So that was encouraging if mystifying. I’ve had to procrastinate my annual “MCC Year in Review” entry because today’s traffic just upended at least one of my usual categories. That’s on top of procrastinating due to illness, mind you — that entry as well as a few other annual staples. In fact, I shouldn’t even be awake right now, but I don’t like skipping two days without posting. Granted, illness is a great reason to call in, but still.
…and then after I was done rambling myself hoarse over my coffee, I’d ask for prayers and happy thoughts for my wife, because Anne’s cold has sounded a lot worse than mine the last two days. (I had today off work; Friday is her turn.) Then I’d shut up, pop a cough drop, and give you a turn for as long as you’d like so I could stay shut up.